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Teens rob Auburn convenience store as clerk suffers heart attack

A crime at an Auburn convenience store may have people questioning their faith in humanity.

Last weekend, one man and two teenage boys were caught on camera stealing from a convenience store and running away as the store clerk, Zarif Kelada, suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the ground.

Angela Sharapova, manager of Shell station where Kelada works, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that Kelada suffered a heart attack as he confronted the suspects for stealing.

“At this point, he is still in critical condition … He is still on life support and is unable to breathe,” she said.

In the surveillance video, the robbers can be seen watching as Kelada collapses. First they use the opportunity to run away, but then, apparently seeing that he is unconscious, the two teens run back into the store multiple times and rob the till. The video can be viewed on the Auburn Police Department’s Facebook page, but it may be disturbing for some viewers.

“It really shocked us; when we were watching the video, we could not believe what we were seeing,” Sharapova said. “We still don’t believe that anyone would be able to do anything like this.”

She was so overcome by emotion that she had to step away while she was watching it. Even one of the police officers, who has many witnessed terrible crimes through his career, told Sharapova that he could not believe his eyes.

Police have identified the suspects, but have not yet caught them.

Kelada, who on Wednesday turned 35, has a stay-at-home wife and three children, including an 8-month-old.

“He’s a very kind man, a hard-working man, a great family man, a very dependable person,” she said. “This is something that should never happen to anyone, but especially [not] a person like him.”

Sharapova and the other employees at the convenience store set up a GoFundMe page for their coworker to help pay for Kelada’s medical expenses. They have been blown away by the donations, as well as by the kind words and prayers, that have been given so far.

“It’s uplifting to see the support of so many people,” Sharapova said. “Thank you, everybody.”

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